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Shas Chairman Eli Yishai Photo: Gil Yohanan
Shas Chairman Eli Yishai Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Shas headed to opposition; 'it's a done deal'

Ultra-Orthodox party says only unexpected, 'dramatic breakthrough' could see it join coalition; latest round of negotiations was 'waste of time'

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 03.03.13, 20:37 / Israel News

Shas is headed to the opposition: Sources in the Ultra-Orthodox party told Ynet Sunday that unless a "dramatic breakthrough" takes place in the next few days, Shas will not be a part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu 's new government.

 

Chances of such a breakthrough are slim, a party source said. If Shas is indeed excluded from the coalition, it would be only the second time in 30 years.

 

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Another party source criticized the prime minister, saying that the latest round of negotiations between the Likud and Shas teams was "A waste of our time."

 

"It's a done deal. Shas will be in the opposition," a senior source privy to the religious party's negotiations, told Ynet. "Today's meeting didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. Netanyahu had nothing new for us."

 

The party's future part in the government was unclear from the beginning of the coalition negotiations, as Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid repeatedly said that he would not join a coalition that would include the haredi parties.

 

Whatever slim hope the Likud-Beiteinu and Shas had that Lapid would eventually agree to such a move was defeated Saturday, when he stated, that "It would not be a tragedy if the haredim sit in the opposition in the upcoming term."

 

The so-far stern political pact between Habayit Hayehudi and Yesh Atid, which is compounded by their combined 31 Knesset seats, all but compel Netanyahu to favor them as coalition partners over the ultra-Orthodox parties.

 

Habayit Hayehudi and Yesh Atid have been locking horns with Shas and United Torah Judaism over their demand for the equal distribution of the social burden, and especially the universal draft. 

 

 

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